Sometimes I look back and I think, “I was prepared for this.” Not in the sense that I actually knew what would happen in my life…but in the sense that because of my struggles and the love I experienced with Michael I was ready for anything. I am sure that I sound like a broken record, but he truly taught me what passionate (husband) love was all about. I had experienced love from my family and friends before, but the true love of a partner is something that lands on a whole different level. It is devastating to lose and to know that you won’t ever get the love of that actual person back. No hugs, no kisses, no phone calls or text messages at the end of the day inquiring about our milk supply. It is different than a relationship ending…there is always the promise of something better when that happens. When your Love dies it is earth shattering. That experience is over. The only way you can capture it again is in photos and memories…and in some instances the faces of your children. It hurts. Missing Michael hurts. It doesn’t matter how far I get, how much things have changed, how so completely in love with Frank I am…losing Michael hurts. It is a daily ache and pain. One that now I fear even more. I don’t think my heart could take this again…not at 35, not at 60, not even at 90. I know it is morbid…but I tell Frank all the time that we better go out like Allie and Noah. Clinging to each other for dear life.
Anyway…my dear friend reminded me yesterday that Michael is here every day. I don’t feel him like some people claim to. There have been weird things that have happened…but it’s not like I feel him in the car or sitting next to me on the couch. I see things…like cardinals. I hear things…like a song. And he is there. At least the reminder of him, our love, our life, every little thing.
The first year after Michael died I lost a lot of my determination. I know some people would say they can’t see how that is possible. I got up every day even when I didn’t want to, and I finished my Master’s degree when giving up would have been easier. But all that doesn’t mean my heart was in it. I just completed each day like a robot. I was so angry that I didn’t let myself feel much…even him. When Frank and I started going to dinner and talking we both were in this mode where we didn’t want anything serious. He wanted a sailboat…I wanted to live my life in pain. Literally…I did. I was fully prepared to never move on. He made some comment about being married to the Marine Corps (which is just a common Marine joke)…and in my sick widow humor I responded, “That’s okay, I’m married to a dead guy.” (Sorry if that upsets or shocks you…but those that are in my shoes know where that type of a response comes from. There is a point where you accept things enough that it is your life. A fact.) So…one day I get a text from Frank and I smiled. I experienced a genuine emotional response of happiness. Over time I thought about that awesome love Michael and I had and I realized I didn’t want to live my life missing out on LOVE. I will always have the love Michael and I shared…but the sharing was over. I love him and it is not reciprocated anymore because he is gone…that’s a fact. Yes. I am sure in some way the people in our lives who go before us still love us…but it is not the same. I know it isn’t because I have lived it. I wanted to experience a present love…and I am again. It all goes back to Michael though. Had he not shown me how beautiful life and love could be, I probably would not have wanted to try again.
As much as it hurts and as much pain as I feel I am glad I took a risk…and that the risk has paid off. Frank is one of the best parts of me…